In a major setback to former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini in a 29-year-old kidnapping and murder case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday dismissed his anticipatory bail petition.
Justice Fateh Deep Singh, who reserved his orders a day earlier, also dismissed his another petition for declaring the probe “non-est” and in violation of a Supreme Court judgment.
It now seems that Saini, who as per the state police is absconding after leaving his security personnel behind, has no protection from the court in the case registered against him in May for illegal abduction, detention and custodial death of Balwant Singh Multani in December 1991.
Now, Saini has the option to either pursue legal remedy by moving the Supreme Court or to surrender in the court or before the police.
Last week, the SAS Nagar Additional District and Sessions Judge had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Saini.
The former Director General of Police then approached the High Court for the anticipatory bail.
The Punjab Police had denied withdrawal of security detail of Saini who, it said, had absconded after leaving his security personnel behind.
A spokesperson for the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the extra-judicial killing case that was converted into a case of murder, denied the allegation of Saini’s wife that the ex-DGP’s security had been withdrawn, thus endangering his life.
Contrary to what had been claimed by Saini’s wife in a letter to DGP Dinkar Gupta, there had been no change whatsoever in the security detail and all the necessary equipment, including the security box and jammer vehicle, were provided to the former police chief, who is a ‘Z’ plus category protectee of the state government, the spokesperson said.
The fact of the matter was that Saini seemed to have left his Chandigarh residence without Punjab Police security personnel and security vehicles, including the jammer vehicle, on his own, thus jeopardising his own security, the spokesperson added.
The kidnapping case was related to a bomb attack on Saini by the Khalistan Liberation Force militants in 1991. At that time, he was the Senior Superintendent of Police in Chandigarh. He survived with injuries, but his three security personnel were killed.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into Multani’s disappearance began in 2007 against Saini but he got relief from the Supreme Court and the probe was stopped.
Based on a fresh complaint, a case was registered under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abduction in order to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to exhort confession) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) in S.A.S. Nagar adjoining Chandigarh on May 7 against Saini.